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December 03, 2005, 06:01
wordnerd
Word-spotting
In your daily reading, do you often come across a word you know? I do. Now you may think it's a cheap post to simply mention them here as they come, and add, "Have you ever heard of this?"

Yet its good to share. Hence this thread, starting with one spotted just now as I browsed the today's paper over breakfast. (Commentary welcome too.)

Join me in sharing the unfamiliar words you run across?
December 03, 2005, 06:06
wordnerd
SRO, per AHD: 1. single room occupancy 2. standing room only I'd never heard the former meaning. Wonder if it's peculiar to New York?
December 03, 2005, 06:13
Quiltin' Fool
what was the word? SRO is a set of initials. I'm not trying to be difficult; just trying to understand what we are doing here.

BTW, my first response to SRO was sitting room only. LOL
December 03, 2005, 08:40
<Asa Lovejoy>
quote:
Originally posted by wordnerd:
In your daily reading, do you often come across a word you know? I do.


Thank goodness! Otherwise you couldn't read!

OK, so you made a typo! Here's a new one to me, from The End of Faith by Sam Harris: Casuistry, the application of general ethical principles to specific instances.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: <Asa Lovejoy>,
December 03, 2005, 20:38
Kalleh
All too often, Wordnerd. Great idea for a topic. I will keep be looking for words!
December 04, 2005, 18:50
shufitz
A medico-economic term:
December 05, 2005, 01:51
aput
In Tess of the d'Urbervilles yesterday, within a few pages: market-nitch, hontish, and teave, none of which occur in either of my big dictionaries. (I'd hoped Hardy was one of those authors every word of gets an entry.)
December 05, 2005, 08:20
wordcrafter
Folks, it would be great if you could provide definitions (or a link to them), and ideally context as well. Then I can put these items directly into the Wordcraft Dictionary. Thanks in advance.
December 05, 2005, 11:05
arnie
quote:
market-nitch, hontish, and teave


I don't know the contexts, so these guesses may be well wide of the mark.

Could market-nitch be an alternative spelling of market-niche?

There's a county (and a small village) in Slovakia and northern Hungary called Hont. In Hardy's time, of course, it would have been in the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Could hontish simply mean "relating to Hont"?

I couldn't find teave, but there's a word, theave, which means "A ewe lamb of the first year; also, a sheep three years old". Maybe it's a variant?


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
December 05, 2005, 15:59
Seanahan
From Feist's Silverthorn, we get "the cell had been blanketed by some ensorcellment neutralizing any other magic". Ensorcellment is not a common word, although its meaning as "enchantment" or "spell" is fairly obvious. It only gets 1,610 google hits, so I am surprised I came across it so easily, after thinking the other day about this word(actually "ensorcelled" occuring on The West Wing.
December 05, 2005, 16:23
zmježd
This page glosses hontish as 'haughty' and teave as 'work or struggle'. Dialectal words.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
December 06, 2005, 09:07
shufitz
From the book review in today's Wall Street Journal (which I've quoted elsewhere):
quote:
There he receieved the literary gratin of London and earned the life-long love or many better-known writers than himself.
gratin: the thin crust atop certain cooked foods; also by transfer, the 'upper crust' of society
December 17, 2005, 14:28
shufitz
From the paper: Sources are not consistent on the exact definition of 'waterboarding', and some define it as being a form of 'torture' -- which of course begs the question of whether waterboarding (whatever it may be) constitutes illegal 'torture'. Here is the definition recently put out by Human Right Watch, asking whether this specific technique is authorized:

In waterboarding, the prisoner is tied head-down on an inclined board, cellophane or a cloth is wrapped over his face, and water is poured over him. The technique produces an overwhelming and agonizing sensation of drowning.

I should add that as best iI understand, the treatment typically lasts no longer than several seconds.
December 22, 2005, 11:04
arnie
We've mentioned Victor Lewis-Smith here in an earlier thread.

Here's an extract from an article of his in tonight's London Evening Standard:
quote:
The most loathsome of ... innovations is surely the "ethical Christmas gift". Instead of the DVD or handsome pair of socks you'd been hoping to receive, an ecologically-crazed friend posts you a charity card informing you that "the money I would have spent on your present has been used to buy six chickens for an African farmer" or "a camel for a Bedouin tribesperson". And you're supposed to look pleased that he's given you precisely nothing, while he basks in a nauseating glow of smug self-satisfied eleemosynary.

This smug altruism is undermining the true commercial spirit of the festive season, so to nip such dubious philanthropy in the bud, I've launched a range of "Vic's Unethical Christmas Gifts", and it's not too late to send one, by way of revenge.

Imagine the look of surprise on the face of your do-gooding environmentalist friend when he opens his card on 25 December and reads that "the money I would have spent on your present has been used to pour a tankerful of toxic chemical waste into a river in China", or "to hire a poacher to wipe out a rare species of hummingbird in Tierra del Fuego". I guarantee, next year it'll be handkerchiefs as usual.


I'm not too sure if his use of eleemosynary is correct, as the dictionaries only seem to show it as an adjective, not a noun. I'm not going to cavil too much, though. Smile


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
December 22, 2005, 18:27
Kalleh
I remember our discussion of "eleemosynary" in this thread.
December 28, 2005, 11:29
shufitz
Two words spotted today, on the same page of the paper:

Article title: Vlogger (noun): Blogger with Video Camera
Today, essentially all someone needs to make a so-called video Web log, or vlog, is a digital camera that can capture moving images and high-speed Internet access.

... the ununsual virulence of the H5N1 [bird-flu] virus stems partly from its power to make the immune system unleash a torrent of inflammmatory cells and chemicals -- an event called a "cytokine storm." It's a case of good cellls gone wild. A cyto-kine [sic] storm triggers an overreaction by the immune system's first responders ... In a storm, these cells and chemicals overproliferate and run amok, killing not just virus-infected cellls but healthy bystander cells as well.
December 29, 2005, 06:28
wordnerd
From a book-jacket blurb:

mimbo - a male bimbo

[I neglected to copy the sentence, but will add it later by edit.]
January 03, 2006, 16:07
Seanahan
quote:
Article title: Vlogger (noun): Blogger with Video Camera


I wonder if the time has finally come when I must stab my eyes out.
January 03, 2006, 17:34
<Asa Lovejoy>
quote:

I wonder if the time has finally come when I must stab my eyes out.


Was the person with the video camera your mother, and did you sleep with her?
January 04, 2006, 15:41
Seanahan
Yes, I noticed the Oedipal references when I posted that, but it was the best way to describe my dislike of that work. Blog is bad enough, but vlog is a whole new level of annoyance.
January 04, 2006, 17:00
zmježd
I don't think that vlog will catch on, probably for English phonotactic reasons and not aesthetic ones. I may be the only word person in the world who was not disturbed by the coingage blog. I like it. It's short and to the point. It caught on like wildfire. In fact, it'd become well established before the pop grammarians got their knickers in a twist.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
January 04, 2006, 17:24
Kalleh
I posted this in the Modern Coinage thread, though maybe it better belonged here. I read about a reporter's interview asking a coach about his team's "drastic turnaround." The coach replied that he didn't consider it "drastic" really. He'd have to find a measure of "drasticity" and perhaps would have to consult a "drastician." Wink Rare bit of wordplay for a college coach.
January 05, 2006, 11:35
arnie
I agree with zmj about blog; I have no problems with it all.

Vlog, on the other hand, seems ugly to the English-speaker's ear. The are no native words English words I can think of using those two consonants together in the same syllable. Now, of course, someone will present me with a long list...

There's more about vlog and vloggers in World Wide Words and Word Spy.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
January 09, 2006, 18:54
Kalleh
Well, I am probably behind the Internet vernacular because I have never heard of vlog before. So I suppose the new one I heard today is common with most of the rest of you:
Webliography. Actually, I kind of like it.
January 09, 2006, 19:05
neveu
Everytime I see the word vlog, in my mind's eye I see that portrait of Vlad the Impaler. Does this count as synaesthesia?
January 11, 2006, 21:06
Kalleh
This is the perfect place for this post because I'd be embarrassed to start a thread with it.

I read this quote from Ted Turner in a book I am reading: "Millions of women have their clitorises cut off before they are ten or twelve years old, so that can't have fun in sex...Between fifty percent and eighty percent of Egyptian women have their clits cut off...Talk about barbaric mutilation...I'm being clitorized by Time Warner."

I suspect it will never catch on. Roll Eyes There are 428 Google sites for it, though most of them seem to either be foreign (?) or sexual.
January 11, 2006, 23:56
tinman
You'll get 1,710,000 ghits for "female circumcision," 994,000 for "female genital mutilation," and 764,000 for "female genital cutting." Wikipedia calls it "Female genital cutting (FGC)."

Tinman
January 12, 2006, 10:22
Kalleh
Isn't that just a dreadful use of the word?
January 12, 2006, 11:16
arnie
quote:
I'm being clitorized by Time Warner.
Surely that is de-clitorized? Roll Eyes

I always thought that there was something strange about Ted Turner... Red Face


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
January 12, 2006, 19:54
zmježd
quote:
Surely that is de-clitorized?

Not to be pedantic, but surely that should be declitoridized. (The root being clitorid-.) Female circumcision seems a kind of a misnomer. The clitoral hood is the piece of anatomy that is morphologically analagous to the prepuce which is what is removed in male circumcision. The clitoris itself is more akin to the male glans. While we're on the topic, there's also the barabric customs of infibulation in females and subincision in males.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
January 12, 2006, 20:08
Kalleh
Oh, Arnie, you are so right! I hadn't even thought of that! That is so funny. I checked the quote again, and it definitely is "clitorized."
January 16, 2006, 09:40
Kalleh
In Sunday's Comics, "Zits" has some fun terms from tiddly-winks. I can't say that I ever played the game, though have some of you? Were these words used?

Squidger - That larger tiddly-wink that you press down on the smaller winks with (the shooter). You try to pot it.

Squidge-Off - When you use the squidger to start the game.

Squopped - If a free wink lands on another wink, that wink is squopped. Neither the squopped wink nor the squopping wink may be played.

How fun! I used some of these terms on Wordcraftjr, as this week's theme is "fun words."
January 16, 2006, 11:15
arnie
We used to play tiddlywinks years ago, but I can't remember much about it. I remember we used to squidge the wink with the squidger but that's about it.

The offical rules of the English Tiddlywinks association are on their site, plus lots of other information about the game.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
January 17, 2006, 21:24
Seanahan
Stumbled across the imdb biography for Sally Rand, and found the word "ecdysiast". I hadn't heard it before, and thought it was a good one.
January 18, 2006, 06:27
zmježd
"ecdysiast"

Coined by famous word person, H. L. Mencken.


Ceci n'est pas un seing.
January 18, 2006, 09:56
Mr Pipes
Hello all,
I guess this is as good a place as any to do an initial, introductory post---I read the "Tips for new members" thread, but a newbie must get his feet wet _somewhere_ before using any of the "tips." I like the "Words that make you laugh" section on the Homepage: I'm trying to come up with a summary in my own words of the story of "Pogglethorpe" to entertain my wife (a US elementary school teacher) with. She is usually busy with school work grading papers, etc, so at the dining room table or in the car or at some quiet moment I'll tell her a word-story. Halcyon, haggard and sub rosa have been the subjects of recent "entertainments." I've read a few such stories to her right from the computer monitor, but it's not the same thing.
I started "looking it up in the dictionary" in 1949, to do the crossword puzzle in the "Wilmington Morning Star" (North Carolina, USA)newspaper, and have always looked up unfamiliar words. My wife calls me her walking dictionary. The truth of the matter is that I've usually read what she is reading and have already looked up the the word she asks about.
January 18, 2006, 10:06
Mr Pipes
Hello again,
I ran out of space: there's no way to make it longer?
Myself---I'm a retired plumber.
All of our children have decamped.
Please excuse my wordiness: I'm usually guilty of an abysmal silence.
January 18, 2006, 10:10
shufitz
Quote: "I'm usually guilty of an abysmal silence."

Your wife is blessed. (Unlike mine.)
January 18, 2006, 10:34
arnie
quote:
I ran out of space: there's no way to make it longer?
I don't understand how that can have happened. The text input box should start to scroll as you type more. I'm not sure if there's a size limit on posts, but if there is it's a lot more than your first post. As you look around the site you'll see plenty of much longer posts.

Oh, and welcome! An apposite nickname you've chosen! Big Grin


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
January 18, 2006, 10:47
BobHale
Welcome to the site Mr Pipes, my doesn't that sound formal? Smile


"No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money." Samuel Johnson.

My current blog.
Photographs to accompany Anyone Can DO It available from www.lulu.com
My photoblog The World Through A lens
January 18, 2006, 17:17
Caterwauller
quote:
Your wife is blessed. (Unlike mine.)

Surely yours is blessed for myriad other reasons. Smile


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
January 18, 2006, 17:44
Kalleh
Welcome to our site, Mr. Pipes! Smile Big Grin Wink Cool

You definitely sound like a linguaphile, though we'd love to know where you are from. We have a wonderful community and like to know about each other.
January 21, 2006, 18:55
Kalleh
This month on OEDILF they are workshopping limericks written by people who haven't logged on over there in awhile. That means that some of the limericks, early on, that Wordcrafters wrote are being workshopped, and I am making it a point to look at those. Robert Arvanitis wrote a limerick that had two great words that I'd never heard of:

anthemion - A pattern of honeysuckle or palm leaves in a radiating cluster, used as a motif in Greek art. He used it in this line: "Wooed a lady of beauty anthemion" How nice!
and
epithalamion - A lyric ode in honor of a bride and bridegroom. Now that's a great word, too.
January 29, 2006, 21:04
Kalleh
While looking for words about clothing, I found the word corroboree, meaning "An Australian Aboriginal dance festival held at night to celebrate tribal victories or other events." But I was also intrigued that it can mean "a large noisy celebration" or "a great tumult; a disturbance." Has anyone seen it used that way?
February 24, 2006, 20:51
Kalleh
I had never read "84, Charing Cross Road" and found it delightful. Helene Hanff, the author, used the word varlet, which means a "deceitful and unreliable scoundrel." Helene said some playwright used it a lot and she had always wanted to use it. It's new to me, but I like it.
February 25, 2006, 06:31
<Asa Lovejoy>
NOW I understand "varlet parking!" It explains why your car always comes back to you with thirty extra miles and a big dent in it!
February 25, 2006, 15:36
Caterwauller
quote:
"84, Charing Cross Road" and found it delightful

I totally agree. Fabulous book to celebrate reading.


*******
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
~Dalai Lama
March 05, 2006, 20:52
Kalleh
In the recent media reports of the Blackberry settlement, I read about patent trolls. Apparently they are firms that have no operations, just patents.

BTW, did the Blackberry scare cross the pond? Businesses here were all in a tizzy about this suit, fearful that their precious Blackberries would be shut down. I heard of one law firm where the second the settlement was announced, a partner e-mailed everyone about the settlement and said, "There is a God!"
March 06, 2006, 04:07
arnie
No, the case didn't cover any patents over here, so people who use Blackberry phones were unaffected. Many people were watching what happens with great interest, though.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
April 02, 2006, 21:08
Kalleh
There was a great word used today in a session at my conference. A researcher has worked for the past 20 years on trying to measure quality of life, which is nearly impossible to measure as you might imagine. She called the attempt at measurement "chimera." I found that this word has a Greek origin (khimaira), meaning she-goat. From Greek mythology it is a fire-breathing female monster with a lion's head, goat's body and a serpent's tail. But this definition from the Compact Oxford English Dictionary I thought was perfect for comparing it to the quest for measuring the quality of life: "Something hoped for but illusory or impossible to achieve."